One last post on the topic of loneliness!
I realize that people might have many different kinds of reactions and responses to this word because each of us may have a different relationship to the feeling and idea of loneliness, depending on where we are at in life. In addition, each of us may have had different past experiences regarding it, so our memories may talk to us and influence us in a variety of ways.
For me, when I talk about loneliness I am very comfortable with it, because I think that it is quite normal. All people have loneliness. Ultimately, the soul is longing to return to its original Oneness again, but inside of this human body, we are separate. The human journey is one that we each begin alone and we must also end alone, even if we are surrounded by loved ones, so it is very normal to feel lonely sometimes and to find oneself trying to avoid loneliness because we have a belief that loneliness is somehow “bad.”
Recently, when I shared my contemplations about loneliness with a senior master in my community, his response was, “Oh, it is very deep! It is right before enlightenment!” His words felt so true for me in that moment. I felt that to breathe with the loneliness of my soul was to breathe with the entire cosmos, and it felt so peaceful and so liberating.
Yet still what resonates most of all are my Seu-Seung Nim’s words on the subject. I thought it would be appropriate today to share another one of my favorite passages from the “I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years” book. It is from the section titled: The Fragrance of Brilliant Solitude
Do not fear loneliness. Great wisdom and love come to us from solitude and loneliness. The path of a human is essentially lonely, but when that solitude has reached the extreme and gone beyond, it changes to great gladness and peace. That’s when you know great compassion. Great compassion can be felt when it transcends human affection. It’s easy for human affection to give birth to attachment. When you are leaning to one side and relying on or stuck in something, you cannot feel the whole. You feel the whole when you are completely alone and lonely. When the loneliness of being reaches deep into your heart, a bright light breaks out of the darkness. Then great solitude changes into brilliant light.
If you go forward wth brilliant solitude in your heart, you become what I call a truly fragrant person, one who has the greatest possible attractiveness, like a flower that must be admired for its beauty. Then you develop a character that stands firmly in its center without attaching itself to other people or running from them or pushing them away. You become able to find the seat of harmony – an encompassing public peace and public love. You are able to feel the greatest world of consciousness that can be felt by a human being. The wisdom and power to bring harmony to the world emerges when you can look at the world with this awareness. – Ilchi Lee
For the health of our bodies, our minds and our spirits, for the harmony of our relationships, and for the benefit of the world around us, let’s all raise up our courage to uncover our brilliant solitude!
Thank you for the beautiful flower that you are ~ 🙂